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Comment: All the time (Score 3, Insightful) 719

by Sycraft-fu (#49767733) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The US always pays its debts when they are due. I think perhaps the problem is you don't understand how US debt works, and why it is a bit special:

So the most important thing to understand is the US doesn't go and beg people to give it money, rather it auctions debt. People come and purchase the debt. You can do it yourself on their Treasury Direct site. The US sells debt instruments to interested buyers. They are bid on, and whoever bids the lowest interest rate wins. The upshot is the US sets the terms of the debt instruments sold. They have a variety, some are as short as 4 weeks, some as long as 30 years. When you buy something, the terms of repayment are stated up front: What it'll pay, and when. There is no provision to cash out early, and you don't get to dictate any terms, you just choose what note you want to buy (if they are available).

This is how public debt works in a lot of countries, but it isn't how things go when you are getting loans from the IMF.

The other important thing is that all US debt is denominated in US dollars. A US debt instrument specifies how many dollars it'll pay out and that number is NOT inflation adjusted, except in a few very special cases. Well the US government also controls the US mint, which makes US dollars. So the US government can literally print money, and inflate its way in to payments. There are negatives to that, of course, but it is perfectly doable. The US controls its fiscal and monetary policy regarding its debt. Since all its debts are in US dollars, and since US dollars are the world's reserve currency, the US cannot face a crisis where it can't pay, unless such a crisis is internally generated (via the debt limit).

Not the case with Greek debt, it is in Euros and Greece doesn't control the Euro.

Finally, there's the fact that the US has great credit. Doesn't matter if you disagree that it should, fact is it does. Investors are willing to loan the US money for extremely low interest rates because they see it as a very safe investment. 4 week T-Bills have been going for between 0%-0.015%. 30-year bonds have been going for 2.5%-3.75%. Investors bid the interest rates very low because they desire it as a safe investment.

Comment: Re: Funny, that spin... (Score 1) 400

by Anne Thwacks (#49766983) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
Wait, has there ever been a time when a more advanced civilization encounters a less advanced one, and the less advanced civilization prospers?

You might want to consider Europe and America in this relationship. Two points if you can decide which is which, Ten points if more than 50% of the readers agree with you.

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 395

I wonder how that would go..

If we got rid of those damned banks, we would have to come up with a financial policy that encouraged manufacturing, since we do not have any raw materials and there is not much farm land either.

I fail to see how not having banks bleeding us dry would be a bad thing. (How many negatives can you get in a sentence?)

Comment: Re:Meh. (Score 1) 386

by Anne Thwacks (#49756951) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
All you lamenting the failure of OS/2 are forgetting the horror that was PS/2 - the machines were fantastic, but incompatible with any peripherals you actually had, or had a reasonable chance of being able to buy.

And IBM wanted to charge silly money for the licence to make peripherals.

This was the ultimate demonstration of locking out third parties as a way to derail your project. Shame the lesson has not penetrated a few console manufacturers.

Comment: Re:At the companies I've worked with... (Score 0) 267

by Anne Thwacks (#49746137) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?
Taking classes or learning on your own doesn't count.

No, but it facilitiates "stretching the truth a bit" - after a few Python Youtube videos, that Perl project could easily become a Python project, and nobody would be the wiser. As for "Some PHP contact" and "major league PHP scoring" - it should be clear from most PHP which is written on most CVs. The HR dept probably can't tell PHP from Baseball anyway. If they can, - well, you just have to apply somewhere else.

And you may need to cut that lawn.

Comment: Incorrect (Score 5, Interesting) 167

It is easier with something simpler, not something smaller. When you start doing extreme optimization for size, as in this case, you are going to do it at the expense of many things, checks being one of them. If you want to have good security, particularly for something that can be hit with completely arbitrary and hostile input like something on the network, you want to do good data checking and sanitization. Well guess what? That takes code, takes memory, takes cycles. You start stripping everything down to basics, stuff like that may go away.

What's more, with really tiny code sizes, particularly for complex items like an OS, what you are often doing is using assembly, or at best C, which means that you'd better be really careful, but there is a lot of room to fuck up. You mess up one pointer and you can have a major vulnerability. Now you go and use a managed language or the like and the size goes up drastically... but of course that management framework can deal with a lot of issues.

Comment: Well, perhaps you should look at features (Score 1) 167

And also other tradeoffs. It is fashionable for some geeks to cry about the amount of disk space that stuff takes, but it always seems devoid of context and consideration, as though you could have the exact same performance/setup in a tiny amount of space if only programmers "tried harder" or something. However you do some research, and it turns out to all be tradeoffs, and often times the tradeoff to use more system resources is a good one. Never mind just capabilities/features, but there can be reasons to have abstractions, managed environments, and so on.

Comment: Re:One-time pads (Score 1) 205

by Anne Thwacks (#49735243) Attached to: Australian Law Could Criminalize the Teaching of Encryption
The data you're XORing against could be something as common as the Bible.

That is information likely to be of use to a terrorist. Prepare for a long prison sentence - complete with spelling mistakes, and possibly unlimited, since the police are not very good with punctuation and grammar!

A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene triangle.